Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) today announced passage of the “New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act,” a bi-partisan legislative initiative that will reduce costs for local taxpayers by encouraging local government efficiency through consolidation.
The legislation, Assembly Bill A.8501, empowers taxpayers, local officials and counties to reorganize outdated and inefficient local governments, and establishes uniform, user-friendly procedures for local governments to consolidate, or dissolve, so localities may enhance their delivery of services, achieve financial savings and reduce local property taxes.
The bill applies to towns, villages, districts, special or other improvement districts, library districts, and other special districts created by law. It does not apply to school districts, city districts and special purpose districts established by counties under local law. The legislation puts in place a procedure requiring a joint agreement and resolution in support of the merger, and requires public hearings so individuals may comment on the proposed consolidation.
Additionally, the bill requires a referendum to take place between the affected localities and stipulates that consolidation will not go forward unless approved by a majority in each affected community. The measure had extensive bi-partisan support and overwhelmingly passed the Assembly this evening by a vote of 117 to 26. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) also endorsed the legislation.
“Today’s bi-partisan passage of the ‘New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act’ marks an important step toward a less costly, more efficient and streamlined government that New Yorkers deserve. This bill begins the long overdue process of providing a mechanism to help reduce the staggering costs of government and its crushing burden on taxpayers,” said Leader Kolb.